By now, most people know that using Facebook to promote your business is a must, and dental practices are no different. What many are lacking, however, are the skills to improve their dental practice Facebook page from just another faceless brand into a truly valuable tool. Simply put: creating a Facebook page and posting once every blue moon is not going to cut it.
While engaging with and optimizing your Facebook may sound like a big undertaking, it is easy when you have a plan in place. Here are 9 tips and tricks for getting the most out of your dental practice’s Facebook page.
- Be brief. Research shows that shorter posts go over better. Nobody wants to read a thesis on Facebook, regardless of how interesting you think the subject or information is. Twitter famously only allows 140 characters per post, and while you can theoretically post a novel on Facebook, it’s best to shoot for that same 140 character range. A study showed that Facebook posts with around 80 characters received a 27% higher engagement rate.
- Formatting is your friend. Using a consistent format for your posts helps people take your brand seriously. That means using the same stylistic choices when it comes to your phrasing and tone and the style of your images and graphics. If you’re sharing content you’ve created yourself, for example, a video uploaded to your YouTube account, make sure the video’s title, description and other metadata are all accurate and professional.
- Time is on your side. Have a schedule in place for when you’re going to post your content. Do a little experimenting and research to see which times your patients and “fans” interact with your page most. And if you really want a leg up, schedule posts after work hours since people are more likely to peruse their Facebook accounts while not at work.
- Educate your patients. You can do this with content you create on your own in the form of blogs, videos and inforgraphics or articles. Or use content from trusted sources; FightGumDisease.com, DentistryIQ, Dear Doctor and Dr. Bicuspid are great resources to get content you can post on your page. Content should be informative and fun, on topics like caring for your teeth to total body health.
- Show off your personality. If your existing patients and potential new ones get a sense for who works at your practice and their cheerful attitude, they are much more likely to book appointments and recommend you to their friends and family. Make it personal! Highlight a staff member with a post, share pictures from staff events and keep everyone updated on practice news. These are all a good ways to connect emotionally and avoid being another faceless practice.
- Showcase your services and sales. The key is to make sure this information is sprinkled in enough to create awareness, but not so much that your Facebook fans think you’re just trying to sell, sell, sell. In addition to posting other informative but non-sales related content, you can try making your pitch for services and sales more interactive by including multimedia, such as a video demonstrating the procedures you offer.
- Share fun facts and trivia. People on the internet love being entertained by silly facts and trivia. Engagement with posts like this tends to be higher as page viewers are entertained by what they are reading. Compile or search for a list of fun dental facts that will amuse or inform your patients. You can also incorporate pop culture into it, perhaps sharing posts with before and after pictures of celebrities that have sought advanced dental care.
- Celebrate holidays. Quick posts wishing your patients a happy holiday are always appreciated, especially if you include graphics or a short video. Don’t be afraid to look up which silly holidays fall during each month. For example, National Cupcake Day is October 18; you could post about it and include a cheeky reference to making an appointment to check for cavities. Check out the National Day Calendar for more ideas.
- Put your practice in lights with advertising. Another option you have built into Facebook is to buy ads. What your ad looks like, how much you spend and for how long will depend on what you’re trying to get out of a given ad campaign. To learn more, visit Facebook’s page on ads.
Whether or not you choose to use all of these tips or not, employing some of them will help you put together a game plan for improving your dental practice’s Facebook page. Whatever you do, make sure your content is fun, informative, to the point and uses a friendly tone. You’ll be swimming in “likes” in no time.